Gladys Lanell Choyke (née Dees), loving wife, sister, mother, and grandmother, friend to all, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 1, 2017, at the age of 70 at her home in Haughton.
Gladys was born in Houston, Texas, on July 15, 1946, the oldest of 4 children. The family moved to Odessa, Texas, where Gladys graduated from Odessa High School in 1964. Following graduation, Gladys moved to California and met her future husband, Gerald (Jerry) Choyke. Jerry and Gladys enjoyed over 40 years together, moving first to Connecticut and then to Plano, Texas, where Gladys worked as a contract administrator. After raising their two children, she and Jerry moved to Padre Island, Texas in 1990, fulfilling a dream by starting and running their own business, Isle Mail & More, for over 10 years.
Gladys spent over 25 years on Padre Island, where she worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life and business on the Island. She held leadership positions in the Padre Island Kiwanis Club, was active in several other local organizations, and served as Executive Director of the Padre Island Business Association for 8 years. A lover of football, she also proudly served as Commissioner of the Padre Island Fantasy Football League for almost 20 years.
In January 2014, Gladys met Jerome (Jerry) Kaczmarek, and together they enjoyed travelling across the country in their RV. She and Jerry moved to Haughton, Louisiana in 2015. Having joined the Krewe of Centaur in Shreveport in 2012, Gladys was thrilled to serve as the Duchess of Fun for the 2016-17 Mardi Gras season. And she lived up to the title, bringing smiles to everyone she came in contact with. She was also actively involved with the Bossier City Lions Club. She touched many lives and made countless friends in both Louisiana and Texas. Her friends and family will dearly miss her vibrant spirit and exuberant love of life.
Gladys was preceded in death by her father and mother, Boyed (Red) and Nellie Ruth Dees; and her husband, Gerald Choyke. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Michele and Peter Lee of Salinas, California; her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Amy Choyke of Pearland, Texas; her sisters, Jeanne Delano and Mattie Hettinger of Arp, Texas; her brother and sister-in-law, Boyed (Bubba) and Lisa Dees of Seminole, Texas; her partner of 3½ years, Jerome Kaczmarek; and grandchildren Cameron Choyke, Jeremiah Lee, Clare Choyke, Rebekah Lee, and Caroline Choyke.
A celebration of Gladys’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at Love Chapel United Methodist Church, 2001 Forest Hills Blvd., Haughton, Louisiana 71037. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to the Susan G. Komen organization or St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital.